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‘Mike & Mike’ broadcasts from campus

| Monday, November 17, 2014

The ESPN talk radio and TV program “Mike & Mike,” featuring Notre Dame alumnus Mike Golic and Northwestern graduate Mike Greenberg, filmed its Friday morning show at Heritage Hall in the Joyce Center in front of a full crowd in advance of Saturday’s game between the two hosts’ alma maters.

“We’ve been coming for years,” Greenberg, Northwestern class of 1989, said. “We’ve probably done — I want to say we’ve done a half a dozen shows at least on this campus over the years, maybe more. It’s always fun.”

The show kicked off at 6 a.m., with Golic, Notre Dame class of 1985, and Greenberg discussing Saturday’s game and wagering on the outcome of Saturday’s game. In the end, the co-hosts decided Greenberg would wear one of Golic’s old Notre Dame jerseys on a show next week if the Irish won, and Golic would mimic the now-infamous Kim Kardashian photo from Paper Magazine if the Wildcats won.

Golic and Greenberg debated the terms of the bet throughout the four-hour show while also covering the top stories in the sports world from Friday morning, including an injury to Chicago Bulls guard Derrick Rose and Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw’s recently-awarded National League MVP.

During the show, Irish head coach Brian Kelly and NBC Sports and NFL Network commentator Mike Mayock visited the set for interviews, and Northwestern head coach Pat Fitzgerald and former Irish quarterback Brady Quinn called in for interviews.

Greenberg said incorporating information from several different sports, along with current events, is just another part of the job for him.

“As I’ve always said, we’re on the air for four hours, and the other 20 hours are show prep,” Greenberg said. “So I mean, our whole lives are show prep. … As far as the actual sports news, that’s been made a lot easier by things like social media. It’s so easy, even on a day when I was traveling pretty much the whole day [Thursday], I was never out of touch with what was going on in the sports world or beyond because, with Twitter and everything else, I knew.”

Mike & Mike producer Ray Necci said traveling away from the show’s normal studio at ESPN headquarters in Bristol, Connecticut, made the broadcast more complicated than usual.

“It all kind of gets worked on here and has to go through Bristol, where they still have to run it through the normal paths that we would if we were doing a show in the studio,” Necci said. “They still had a director back in Bristol; they still had a producer on the TV end back in Bristol, so you have extra staff when you’re here for the remote stuff, but it’s all still gotta go through the same way.”

Necci said the travel schedule of Mike & Mike goes in spurts, depending on what the sports schedule is like. For example, the crew will usually stage remote shows during the college football regular and bowl seasons and the NFL playoffs throughout January.

Despite what can sometimes be a restrictive travel schedule, Necci said hitting the road has its benefits as well.

“I’d never been to Notre Dame, so for me, I’m going to the game [Saturday], so that’s a perk,” he said. “That’s pretty good. But sometimes, it’s a get-in and get-out. Sometimes it’s straight business, no perk to it. But it’s nice to go places that you don’t normally get to go, whether it’s different schools or different championships or anything like that.”

Greenberg added that there were benefits to airing the show away from Bristol from his and Golic’s perspectives as well.

“The energy you get from the crowd is unmatched,” he said. “We’re accustomed to doing the show in a room that is otherwise completely silent, and the only thing you’re really looking at are cameras, who are not reacting to anything that you say. So having that instant reaction, having that enthusiasm from the crowd — there’s no question that that brings an energy.”

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Current Assistant Managing Editor, former Sports Editor of The Observer | Follow Mary on Twitter: @maryegreen15

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